Finalist: How We’re Redefining Talent Acquisition

Experienced hiring managers already know the value of “silver medal” candidates, those who sailed through multiple rounds of interviews but–for one reason or another–didn’t land the job offer in the end.

These are highly qualified, expertly vetted and often valuable industry leaders. At a different company, for a different role, chances are good that candidate would get the job. That’s why we built Finalist — to connect those candidates to those roles.

Rather than outright rejecting final-round candidates, in-house recruiters can instead refer them to the Finalist network. Once referred, our advanced AI matches the candidate to similar roles at other companies within the network. When the candidate is hired, Finalist and the referring company split a placement fee offsetting recruiting costs with real revenue.

My co-founders and I don’t come from the HR or Recruiting space, but we have plenty of experience as hiring managers (and as job applicants). I’ve personally interviewed hundreds of candidates over the course of my career, at both large organizations and startups. Here are five issues that cropped for me repeatedly, no matter the role or the company size:

    1. Reputation:  As much as I care about candidate experience, there are often hurt feelings when rejecting an applicant. This happens especially with those who have made it through multiple rounds and assignments. In real business terms, rejected candidates today can turn into lost customers or advocates tomorrow.

    2. Time Suck:  Looking at hundreds of resumes, interviewing first-round candidates that are barely qualified, and – even worse – getting a few rounds deep before uncovering a disqualifying factor, is a meaningful sunk cost of my own managerial time.

    3. Network Failure:  The spray-and-pray approach of gathering referrals through posting jobs on LinkedIn, Twitter, massive job boards, or sending out personal emails to my network has led to finding a few needles in the haystack. I always wished there was a way to find the stack of needles.

    4. Too Many -vs- Too Few:  For some roles I simply have too many qualified candidates. For others, I have too few. Even if I’ve been proactive about stacking my bench, it’s never perfect and there’s no certainty that any of the candidates are actually available or interested when there’s an opening.
    5. Recruiters:  I’ve worked with some great recruiters, but sometimes we simply have  misaligned priorities. Plus, the costs associated with using a recruiting firm (especially the good ones) often mean hiring fewer people over time.

We built Finalist to address those issues and more. Our platform benefits everyone in the process. The referring companies win goodwill with candidates who may have otherwise left the interview process disappointed and they earn a referral bonus; the hiring companies get a shortcut to the most qualified candidates; and the candidate gets a job!

Our goals for you are straightforward: hire the best, drastically improve the candidate experience, avoid recruiting firms, and turn your cost center into a revenue generator. That’s what Redefining Talent Acquisition looks like and that’s what Finalist does.

Interested in learning more? Contact me at

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